After all the good advice I have gotten from this forum, I thought it was appropriate to share my experience in the northwest. The emphasis on our vacation was hiking and we were thrilled with the diversity of the terrain and scenery. Our first stop was Hood River and lodging at the Best Western. Their east wing 3rd floor junior suite was superb in every way and the outdoor heated pool and hot tub great for our aching bones after our hikes. Hikes included Upper McCord/Elowah Falls, McCall Preserve, Wahtum Lake to Chinidere Mountain, and Vista Ridge to Owl Point with its impressive views of close by snow covered Mt Hood. Cherry Karma Pitstop was good for its wide variety of cherries and we enjoyed wine tasting at Syncline in Washington and especially Marchesi’s. The only notable restaurant was Riverside at the hotel where we had very fresh and well prepared salmon and halibut.
Next stop was Cannon Beach and lodging at Inn at Haystack, one of the more relatively modestly priced places. But our cottage suite with large Jacuzzi tube was very nice and immaculate. Hikes included Ecola State Park, walking on Cannon beach, and the magnificent hike to Cape Falcon in West Oswald State Park. The huge trees, lush foliage and views of the Pacific made this special.
Our final destination was Portland and lodging at Marriot City Center which was very clean and in a good location. We did the 4 T hike which was a great way to experience the public transportation and see the city. The 4 mike hike from the Zoo to the medical center was fun with great views from the Council vista. The next day we rented really nice hybrids from Waterfront Bikes and went on a 5 hour ride with emphasis on the eastern neighborhoods. While I was told on this forum about the homeless, it was still a pretty sad sight. They were harmless but we saw a lot of younger people. Instead of going to the valley and wine tasting, we spent our last day hiking at Timberline Lodge. The hike on the PCT to Zigzag Canyon was the most spectacular hike of our vacation with its huge vistas. The restaurants in Portland were interesting with a perfect 5 star heavy French meal at Little Bird. Pok Pok, on the other hand, was disappointing. It's so busy that the servers act like they are doing you a favor. You can see my reviews on a variety of restaurants we visited on our vacation.
We found the northwest to be a friendly laid back area with a very good vibe and feeling. The one exception was the heavy traffic in the Portland area. I can see why there are many transplants from other areas.